Spring is coming…

Most of us are nearing the end of winter (hopefully) and I have good news for you! Spring is coming, and with Spring comes SPRING CLEANING, my FAVORITE time of year! The excitement for a national time of rolling up your sleeves, decluttering, and getting dirty in your home. The act of going through and purging, cleaning, and tidying in the name of Spring gets me through the winter months, but I know that is not the case for everyone. Because I’m so excited, I’ve compiled a list of Spring Cleaning Do’s and Don’ts. As usual, I’m bringing a healthy dose of realism into the subject!


  • Set realistic expectations
    • Always be realistic with yourself when setting your goals. For instance, if you’ve lived in your home for 15+ years, have kids in college, and you haven’t organized in years, this is NOT going to be a one-stop Saturday job! Don’t expect it to be easy.
      • On a side note, when browsing the internet (mainly Pinterest) for tips and tricks to organizing your home, you may think to yourself, “Cleaning and organizing is so easy for everyone else, why isn’t it as easy for me?” Well, this is the starting point of setting realistic expectations for yourself. Pinterest and tips and tricks online are very much like a TV show, NOT the average reality for people. The reality is that everyone loves a clean and organized home but most people don’t like the process of getting there. If you struggle with cleaning and organizing your home, THAT’S OKAY. You’re here because you want to get better at it and first step is to be realistic with yourself and stop comparing yourself to pictures and suggestions that aren’t realistic.
  • Map out a plan
    • The only way to ensure you’re successful in meeting your organizing goals is to have a plan in place. For instance, pick days and times you will be most likely to accomplish Spring Cleaning and schedule those times for yourself. If something comes up, which they always do, immediately reschedule your time so that you don’t forget.
      • Everyone maps out their plans differently but I recommend starting with some easier tasks first, or smaller areas first, and move to the larger/harder areas after you’ve made some positive strides. Knowing you’ve already accomplished some organizing and cleaning will help you stay positive during the harder areas.
  • Follow Through
    • Stick to your plan, even if it changes! Your plans changing is NOT a failure, only giving up is.
  • Purge/declutter FIRST, organize second, and THEN clean
    • See HERE and HERE for decluttering tips!



  • DON’T throw everything away
    • In 2013, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash (EPA). I’m sure the numbers are up since that was 5 years ago. Donate your clothing, old CD’s, electronics, kitchenware, small appliances, or anything else that is not trash that can help local families in need! Make sure you’re only throwing away ACTUAL trash, recycling everything that’s recyclable and ALWAYS donate gently used items!
    • For items you’d like to give away but would like to keep directly in your own community, join your local Buy Nothing Project on Facebook!
      • NOTE: I wouldn’t recommend Buy Nothing Project to people with hoarding tendencies. Since everything is free you may be tempted to take in a lot of stuff you don’t need.
  • DON’T only deep-clean and organize your home in the Spring.
    • This is a big mistake a lot of people make. Try setting better goals so Spring cleaning isn’t such a large project. Try tackling projects every other month or quarterly to lighten the load.
  • DON’T skip important areas of your home
    • If you don’t have a plan in place it will be very easy to skip important areas of your home. Areas that need Spring cleaning the most (basement, garage, and closets) may be missed if you’re losing motivation and you didn’t have a plan in place. It’s natural for us to stick to cleaning up the areas that we see the most, but resist this temptation because the areas that need the most attention are the easily cluttered areas!
  • NEVER be too embarrassed to ask for help
    • Lastly, this is for the people who have possibly skipped Spring cleaning for a couple of years. If your home is causing you stress and anxiety you probably need help from a professional organizer. Contact me and we can discuss your organizing needs.




How to Instantly Declutter

We’ve all been there before… when you want to complete a project but don’t even know where to start. Whether it’s from my clients or my personal friends, I often get asked how to declutter or more specifically, “What’s the best way to get started.” That’s not an easy question to answer for many reasons. There is no “one size fits all” decluttering method. People often struggle with clutter because they’re already dealing with outside issues that make it feel impossible to declutter and get organized. On top of not knowing where to start, the decluttering process can surprise people by being both emotionally and physically draining which contributes to not finishing the whole organizing process. As a pro, I personally like to see people’s space and give my professional advice but since that’s not always ideal, I wanted to share some decluttering tips and techniques. So what pro tips can I offer you?

My main pro tip is, YOU JUST HAVE TO DO IT. Set your goal, set a time and STICK WITH IT. There is no reward (this applies to anything in life) without putting some elbow grease into it.

Another rule, as I’ve mentioned before is one the best rules for decluttering and I call it the “untouched rule”. If you haven’t touched an item in a month, or especially a year, get rid of it. By the way, when I say get rid of it I ALWAYS mean donate (if you can)… and please don’t donate items that are in bad condition or should go in the trash.

Here are some categories I almost guarantee will be on this list of things you haven’t touched:

  • Old papers, magazines and documents (recycle if possible!).
    • Did you know the average American only uses 20% of the papers filed (at home OR at the office).
    • Get rid of manuals and documents you can easily find online such as instructions and or recipes.
  • Clothes or shoes that you no longer wear or that no longer fit.
  • Expired food in the pantry and fridge.
  • Half finished craft projects.
  • If you didn’t even remember that you owned that item, it should go!
  • Kitchen utensils or small appliances you don’t use anymore.
  • Mugs, glasses, plates, silverware etc that outnumber the number of people you’d ever have eating or drinking in your home.
  • Old computers or electronics.
    • Make sure to destroy the hard drive first and dispose of these electronics according to your local laws.
  • Toys your kids no longer play with.
  • Cds or DVDs.
  • Books you’ll never read.
  • Old receipts.
  • Memorabilia that doesn’t hold the same value to you that it used to.
  • Bad photos.
  • OLD MAKEUP and skincare items.
  • Old cushions and pillows.
  • Blankets you never use.
  • Kids artwork.
    • If this is sentimental for you but you don’t have the room, consider taking a photo and storing on your computer.

So let’s fast forward. You have ideas of what you need to declutter and you are ready. You have an old workout outfit on, you ate a healthy meal and you’re well hydrated. You look at your mess and that feeling of helplessness washes over you. THIS IS NORMAL. This is when you just have to dive in! You got this! Start by separating your clutter into piles, bags or bins. The categories are up to you but often they are trash, donate, storage, etc. while decluttering you can go space by space or category by category, whatever works best for you.

After you declutter you are free to clean and organize your new and fresh space and MAN… that feels good! AND REMEMBER, use the space you already have!

It’s Almost the Most Wonderful? No, Craziest Time of the Year

Fall is in full swing. Christmas music is playing at most stores. The air is crisp and the leaves are changing. With these wonderful signs of fall and with the coming holiday season the average person is getting excited for what’s to come but for someone who is chronically disorganized, they are not sharing that excitement.

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For people who struggle with keeping their homes organized even the thought of the holiday season brings fear of chaos, panic, dread, worry, and even more disorganization. The Holidays are when you get more THINGS, you have multiple workplace and family parties, and even parties you may be throwing yourself at your home.


Here are some pro tips for getting AND STAYING organized during the holiday season:

  1. Get organized NOW. Stop making excuses because you’re only going to get busier every week. The sooner you get rid of clutter and get organized the more prepared you’ll be for the craziness that is the holidays.
  2. Don’t agree to host a party if you don’t want to. In case you didn’t know, IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO! None of us ever want to let our families down. So, even if it’s your turn to host a holiday event, if you can’t, JUST SAY NO.
  3. Focus on you and your health this holiday season. Adding on to number 2, if you’re going to be turning down hosting those family or cocktail parties that you’re just not up to this year, then take this time to focus on you! Stress can cause headaches, insomnia, a weakened immune system, heartburn, high blood sugar, increased risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, stomach aches, erectile dysfunction, fertility problems, and tense muscles. So take your health seriously by focusing on you, your health and getting your home or office organized. It will make you feel better, healthier, and less stressed, trust me. (If you’ve already tried multiple times and the thought or organizing your home of office adds to your stress, contact me. I can help.)
  4. Get your holiday shopping done as early as possible. Once you have your shopping done you will have the time to stay organized and be ready to hand out your gifts. If you struggle with procrastination get your cell phone calendar or a datebook and schedule the days and times of all of your parties or gatherings. Then, mark the days you will spend shopping. Finally, mark the day or days you will wrap the gifts. Having a plan in place will help you be ready for every event. The most important part of your plan is sticking to it. To set yourself up for success, make sure you make your shopping and wrapping days realistic so it’s easier to follow your plan. If you know you’re always tired on Saturdays it wouldn’t be helpful to plan a huge shopping extravaganza on one Saturday. This would be setting yourself up for failure because realistic goals necessary to keep you on track.
  5. Limit your activities. Overextending yourself, or trying to do every fun holiday event in your city, is not a wise idea if you’re trying to avoid stress. Depending on your work schedule pick one or two holiday events that you’re most interested in and skip the rest. If you have kids, they will live if you don’t do every event possible!
  6. If you need it, ask for help! I don’t know the history of asking for help or when it became socially taboo, but pretending we have it all together on social media sure doesn’t help. It will take strength but be honest with family and friends if you need help. Ask someone to babysit your kids so you can get caught up at home or ask a family member if they could cover the side dish you were supposed to make for the party if you’re too busy. Be honest and ask for help. We’re not perfect and that’s okay.
  7. Get plenty of sleep. Getting enough sleep and eating healthy are huge stress reducers. If you’re tired you will find it harder to get anything done and to stick to your goals.
  8. Follow your instincts. We’ve all been in that situation when a friend or family member corners you and asks you for something in front of a group of people. If you know you don’t want to add any more responsibilities to your holiday season, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place to combat your Aunt Janet, who is a little pushy. To relieve the immediate pressure of being asked to do something in front of a group of people there are a couple of good replies you can try like, “Let me get back to you on that.” or even, “Let me check my schedule and make sure I can.” Statements like these give you some extra time to figure out how to politely decline, they take the immediate pressure off of you and they give you the strength to make sure you’re not overexerting or overbooking yourself during the busiest time of the year.

Follow these steps to have a healthy, organized and successful holiday season! Here’s to you!


To learn more, contact me!

10 REAL Steps For Getting Rid of Clutter

We’ve all seen those articles promising quick cleaning and organizing advice. You know the ones that say, “30 Day De-clutter Challenge” or “21 Day Organization Challenge” and my personal favorite “21 SUPER BRILLIANT WAYS TO ORGANIZE YOUR ENTIRE KITCHEN LIKE A NINJA!”. Yes, these are really out there on the internet. The article about the organization ninja was suggesting you go out and buy $300.00 worth of bins, organizers, baskets, and glass or plastic containers for a place to put all of your clutter. I understand the sentiment because the Container Store is my favorite place, but if that is your knee-jerk reaction to dealing with your clutter, you’re wrong… Fundamentally, unequivocally WRONG and I’ll tell you why.

It reminds me of a situation my good friend found herself in years ago. She was completely swamped with work and was hardly ever home due to traveling for work 3 weeks out of every month. She also had just moved and had no time to settle in. She was looking to hire a professional organizer to tackle a giant master closet without productive organization. Before she decided on a certain professional she had talked to quite a few professionals. She received proposals ranging from $200 – $20,000 for her closet. One person wanted to just basically clean her closet and hang things up for her and the highest bidder apparently wanted to get her on MTV’s Cribs. Anyway, she went with an organizer that she felt more comfortable with who had a reasonable proposal in her price range. After being in the industry a while I see now that this woman was probably just starting out and maybe was more into design than actually organizing. I say that because she spent most of my friend’s closet budget on baskets and bins. My friend did donate a couple of outfits to make room and the organizer did, in fact, organize her things for her but there was an ongoing problem the organizer made for my friend. She brought in 20-30 new items for her closet in the name of “organization”. The organizer set my friend up for failure and possibly was hoping for a call the next year. She did not diagnose my friends organizing challenge, she treated the symptoms. You would probably not be surprised to hear that one year later her closet looked even worse than before.

It’s time to rethink organizing whether you’re disorganized in the office, at home, or you’re avoiding the giant mess in your garage. To REALLY fix your organizational challenges you need a proper diagnosis. That’s normally where I come in, but I’ll give you some tips to properly diagnose what’s causing your clutter and how to fix it.

  1. Clutter is a symptom of your problems NOT the cause.
  2. Stop blaming everything around you. Time, work, your family, or your schedule isn’t the real problem. When your life is out of control it’s because you are out of control.
  3. Stop buying things you don’t need. This is the only way to truly stop your clutter problems.
  4. Building on number 3, do not buy more items to put your items inside of. That is counterproductive and is setting yourself up for failure in your ongoing battle of the clutter.
  5. Get rid of everything you don’t use. That is the only solution to having too many things
  6. To be successful with number 5, define the term “need”. You can’t sort through your clutter without having a plan. Understanding your plan is the only way to be successful. (If you can’t define “need” for yourself, then you’re most likely going to end up being my client, call me).
  7. Set the rules and stick to them. Write them down to reference when you feel overwhelmed. If you don’t have a clear vision to meet your goals, you won’t meet them.
  8. Follow the “untouched rule”. If you haven’t touched an item in a month, or especially a year, get rid of it. If you haven’t worn that dress in a long time, get rid of it. If you haven’t used that eye-shadow palette in 4 months, you’re probably not going to. Get rid of it.
  9. Apply the new rules you’ve made for your clutter to all areas of your life. When you are in control of yourself, you will then be in control of your clutter in the future.
  10. Stay consistent. Don’t let a bad day, or week, cause a new mountain of clutter.

So in closing, we learned there’s no such thing as a “hack” for your organization. Diagnosis of what’s causing your disorganization is the only solution because clutter is a symptom of a greater problem. Follow these 10 steps and apply them to your life, and if you can’t, I’m here to help.



To learn more contact me!